With under a month to go before we leave the EU, the council and its Greater Brighton partners have already begun the process of examining what support our business community needs.
With 140,000 jobs and 16,000 businesses in the city, the majority of these being small to medium enterprises and single homeworkers, it’s crucial the council plays a leading role in championing all our companies at this crucial time.
I’m glad to report the local economy has remained strong in recent years with 14,300 jobs created since 2011 and 2,700 new businesses in the city compared to 2012.
Our economy is buoyant. As a city, we continue to attract large, medium and small businesses, and we have the greatest concentration of homeworkers compared to any other UK area.
Economic diversity is our great strength.
But there are also large financial clouds hanging over the city which we must weather. Unemployment in Brighton and Hove is above average and the city has comparatively high levels of youth unemployment.
We need to create more jobs, especially for young people and offer them a secure future.
We also have one of the lowest levels of housing affordability of all UK cities, with the average house price an eye-watering 11 times the typical salary.
This has to change and we will be lobbying government to change planning policy so we can deliver homes for people who live, work and grow up in our city.
That’s why our focus is, and must be, wider than just the impact of leaving the EU.
- leading a bid for European Regional Development Fund money to plug the gaps in supporting businesses
- raising the profile of the business community by supporting and enabling the annual Small Business Saturday events
- preparing an economic strategy to help create long-term economic sustainability
- working with companies on a project-by-project basis, while focusing on innovation around digital technology
- ensuring we have better employers by commissioning the Brighton Living Wage and the Say No To Trial Shift campaigns to support employees
Brighton and Hove is a great place to do business and we’re blessed with a wealth of talented and creative people.
Our city is in a very good position to keep thriving – whatever those economic storm clouds hold.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.